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Thread: BMR for PCOS and Insulin Resistance it may not be what the calculators say. page

  1. #1
    Sasifrass's Avatar
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    BMR for PCOS and Insulin Resistance it may not be what the calculators say.

    Primal Fuel
    Like so many other threads, I am at a stall and I thought I was doing everything right. 1200cal a day walking 15-20 miles a week, lifting weights a bit, and sprinting the best I can once a week without face planting.

    I lost eighteen pounds in january, I was stoked, and then nothing. Absolutely stagnant for the last six weeks.


    So I am reading all the threads, EMF, CIvsCO, all the old threads about pcos. Lots and lots of frustration but not much in the way of clear answers. So I dug around even more and run into this


    Basal metabolic rate is decreased in women wit... [Fertil Steril. 2009] - PubMed - NCBI

    I was stunned, and if its correct, then all of the regular bmr calculators are killing people like myself that think they are really doing great by cutting cals to 1200 a day only to find out that I'm still eating above my bmr that may be as low as 1000cal a day if I am also insulin resistant, which I believe I may be.

    So what's a girl to do?

    I am going to try calorie cycling.

    Mon 1000
    Tues1000
    Wed1500
    Thurs1000
    Fri1000
    Sat1500
    Sun1000

    Now, I realize that most days I am not getting proper nutrition with this. So I am supplementing with a mulit daily, some D3 and also Magnesium.

    Most days consist of 2 eggs with a bit of coconut oil and a tiny bit of cream cheese for one small meal, and then another protein and a non starchy vegetable for another small meal.
    That pretty much adds up to 1000 easily. So far it's been a week and I haven't been terribly hungry. I am not planning to weigh in for another week to give it time and see how it goes.

    Macros have stayed around 65%F 25%P and 10%C.

    My question is, the higher days, is 1500 too much, or not enough. I am terrible with math and just picked 1500 because it seemed reasonable.


    There has been much frustration, and doubt, and even a little depression about the stall. But if this is really how it is and I now know what the problem is, I don't care. I can still do it, even if the loss is a snails pace. But for all the girls out there that have pcos, maybe those regular BMR calculators don't apply to us and the failure is really lack of good information and not because we weren't doing our best.

    Hopefully finding that one little bit about the significantly lower BMR helps someone else in my situation.

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    Warmbear's Avatar
    Warmbear is online now Senior Member
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    Heya. Ok Stop. relax a bit, breathe and let this sink in. Low calorie diets will cause your metabolism to slow down and you dont loose weight. Your body thinks it is starving and holds onto every damn calorie. You dont feel hungry but that is a trick of your hormones being all fudged up.

    Now if I read it right you just started in Jan, is that correct? Then likely most of what you lost is initial water loss.
    We dont know how old you are or how big you are and I dare say you are not ready to screw about with wacky protocols.

    So.
    1. Have you read the book?
    2. have you understood the book?

    Since weight loss is your primary goal as stated, I assume you are significantly overweight? I apologize if I am on the wrong track but gosh darn it woman, you did not get cuddly in a month, you wont loose it in a month.

    Eat a good healthy diet, do not starve yourself, let your body adapt to a healthy way to live, let your hormones adapt to this and re regulate themselves. Forget weight loss for the time being and just eat properly.

    Fix your sleep.

    Play.

    Slow down your exercise to some walking and some weights, dont kill yourself and try to do it with an empty gas tank you will fudge yourself. Badly.

    PCOS is a pain but you can deal with it, slowly. Let your body heal and eat say 1800 to 2000 cal a day.

    Start with the idea that each meal should be a palm sized hunk of protein, some fat and as much veggies as you can fit on a plate and repeat for breakfast lunch and dinner. Robb Wolf recommends you should be eating 1 gram of protein for each lb of your body weight a day.

    (This works for me and I feel so much better, in my case of being 260 lbs, which means 260 grams of protein and since 7 grams to the ounce gives you 260/7 = 37 ounces of meat a day = 1440 Cal a day just in meat then a crap load of leafy or non starchy veggies and enough fat to give me my daily cal limit of 3000 ( I am a big guy working a hard physical job) This is about as much counting as I ever bother with.)

    Soon enough you will find your metabolism is running better, your body wont be starving all the time and you will feel better and your need for food with reduce to where you can eat when hungry and not fudge yourself further.

    If you give us more personal info, we can help guide you further but really go read the book, what you want to do is not going to help and it really is unhealthy.
    Primal since April 2012 Male 6' 3" SW 345lbs CW 240lbs GW 220lbs and when I get there I am getting a utlikilt. This one http://www.utilikilts.com/company/pr...ilts/workmans/ actually.

    Join me at www.paleoplanet.net, where all the cavemen hang out.

  3. #3
    Omni's Avatar
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    What are your weight targets, where are you now, where were you 12 months ago?

    If your BMR is down, then this is more of a problem than just weight, you need to look at how to rectify the BMR issue.
    Do you monitor and record your Basal Body temp?
    Have you had your Thyroid hormones checked - FT4, FT3 & TSH, you may also be Hypothyroid or subclinical Hypo?
    You may need to consider increasing Carbs just a little, this may improve BMR.
    Have you tested Fasting Blood Glucose and Insulin resistance/glucose sensitivity?
    High Leptin levels may indicate an issue even if Insulin looks ok, Leptin usually goes out of whack first.

    There are likely a few things that you need to get normalised, and if your weight issue is not excessive, my inclination would be to focus more heavily on health and getting a nutrient rich diet.

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    Sasifrass's Avatar
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    I guess I should have given more info, but I am really more of a reader than a poster, but here goes.

    Yes, I have read the book, most parts a few times and I slowly started to head to primal last fall, but committed completely in January and began tracking calories and such while cutting outsnacks, nuts and high gi fruits. I gave up grains a year ago and slowly primalized the pantry, just not replacing things as they got used up.

    My stats are:
    36yo female
    5'4"
    I weighed more before Jan but took Jan 1 as an "official" starting point when I bought a new set of scales.
    Jan1 242lb
    Feb1 224lb

    The issue is that at the calories you recommend I gain, steadily. It isn't fun.

    My sleep is great 8-9 hours a night.

    My energy is also great.

    I am trying to engage the metabalism to speed up with the magnesium, coconut oil, calorie cycling and trying to increase my insulin sensitivity with exercise and low GI foods. I realize the calorie amount looks terrible, my husband cringed when he looked at my log on paleotrack, but if I eat over 1500-1600 a day I gain.

    I wish I could eat that much, and I have in the past. It's how I got fat in the first place.
    Last edited by Sasifrass; 03-16-2013 at 12:02 AM.

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    Hi Omni,

    My cw MD tested for thyroid and said it was in the normal range, fasting sugar is also in the normal range according to her. Diabetes runs in the family, so I was never one for soda or anything with a lot of sugar even when I ate SAD simply because of my fear of become type II. I don't track my temp at home, but I always run cool when in for office visits at the MD.

    I intended to increase the carbs on the high cycle days with sweet/white potato or a bit of fruit. I am trying to make the slow as mud metabolism speed up as I don't think it can get much slower.

    A year ago I was weighing in the 250s. I am hoping to get down to the 150s at least. But health is first, metabolism is first, then all the rest will fall in line.

    All your advice is much appreciated.
    Last edited by Sasifrass; 03-16-2013 at 12:03 AM.

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    I think warm bear said it all.

    these are a few things that have kick started me after a plateau:

    an 18 hr IF. (If you do this you could up your cals on one day and then do an IF on the second day) this might get your metabolism on the move.

    A sprint

    A change in macros (one day eat mainly meat, or one day eat alot of dairy, or one day eat alot of wholesome carbs (spud day )


    Also are you doing the 80/20 rule? I see some people who don't go 100% primal for a few weeks at the begining, have their metabolisms still thinking they are eating a SAD diet. Go 100% primal for a week or 2 then go back to 80/20.
    A little primal gem - My Success Story
    Weight lost in 4 months - 29kg (64 lbs)

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    I've been doing IF since Jan with an eating window from usually 2pm to 8pm. Sometimes I may have a black coffee in the morning, not every morning, maybe twice a week. I don't really think the 80/20 is so great for people like me, so I went in at probably 98/2 with my non primal item being mayo maybe four tablespoons a week.

    I don't drink, no chocolate, no primal goodies, no gluten free crappy substitutions.

    I did go to red lobster for valentines day, but had everything grilled, no breading, no cheesy biscuits of death, and had strawberries at home for desert. I am sure there were non primal things snuck in somewhere, but I didn't sweat it since I am fully on the wagon except for the bit of mayo.

    I have started sprinting once a week, it wasn't pretty the first couple times, but I am getting better every time I do them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plumgallmann View Post
    t's not that it's impossible to lose the weight, but yeah, it may be harder until you find your zone. ... It seems to be related to the Insulin Resistance you'll commonly find in people with the syndrome. ..... My BMR calculator says a woman with these stats would have a BMR of 1447.
    I was calculating it at average calories a week at 8000 with a deficit of 2500, counting exercise as another 1000 per week. I should lose a pound per week, if my math is right and my calorie counting is correct. But thats a lot of math, and variables. I am most hoping to repair the metabolism to be able to up the calories.

    Would you mind to link the calculator you use, I have a couple saved already, but the more the merrier for x reference.

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    Omni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasifrass View Post
    Hi Omni,

    My cw MD tested for thyroid and said it was in the normal range, fasting sugar is also in the normal range according to her. Diabetes runs in the family, so I was never one for soda or anything with a lot of sugar even when I ate SAD simply because of my fear of become type II. I don't track my temp at home, but I always run cool when in for office visits at the MD.

    I intended to increase the carbs on the high cycle days with sweet/white potato or a bit of fruit. I am trying to make the slow as mud metabolism speed up as I don't think it can get much slower.

    A year ago I was weighing in the 250s. I am hoping to get down to the 150s at least. But health is first, metabolism is first, then all the rest will fall in line.

    All your advice is much appreciated.
    Ok you still have some weight to lose just to get into the comfortable range, before you even think about the ideal, I'd just be aiming to crack the 200 at this stage, look to get a high nutrient diet, cycle the animal proteins and get plenty of fish, ensure you get O3 levels up, maybe more veg in the range and minimise calorie dense carbs, so you eat more volume but don't increase overall calories too much, bone broths are good for some essential nutrients.
    If you can move, lift, carry, walk in reasonable comfort, then weight is not too important in the health stakes, fitness comes first there.

    As for test results, get copies of all your test results, it is your right, you will need to track these things and get an understanding of what they mean.
    Thyroid - many Dr's only check TSH, this is the signalling hormone to thyroid, it may be right whilst the actual Thyroid hormones T4 and T3 may not be, some check the T4, but even there the T3 which is the actual active hormone may be out. What you want to see is TSH at mid range or slightly below and Free T3 (FT3) and Free T4 (FT4) at mid range or slightly above, my partner has a thyroid condition so am well versed in it. As I suggested there can always be a sub clinical issue, which means that although all numbers are in range, they tend towards the outer extremeties of the range and may indicate underlying problems, note however there is always some variation between tests so a series of tests over time is needed to determine if their is a tendancy to high or low. If TSH & FT4 are fine, but FT3 is persistantly low this could be because of Reverse T3 (rT3) and this may need to be tested for.

    Fasting Glucose may be fine, but again is it at the high end of the range consistantly and if you have familial history of T2DM, then you should get your Insulin sensitivity/Glucose tolerance test, this requires you to load up on carbs for 2-3 days, yes pasta, rice, potatoes etc. and then after overnight fast, get blood drawn, then drink super strong glucose solution and draw blood at 1hr and 2hr's, this way they can ascertain how effective ypour body is at clearing excess glucose from the blood.

    I would also get Leptin tested, although there may be an additional fee for that, sometimes not covered by insurance, but as said earlier it may be an early indicator of potential Insulin issues.

    For any women with health condition, track menstral cycle, regularity, PMS symptoms etc., also record daily Basal Body temp, morning at least when you wake up before any significant activity, this should be fairly consistant with a slight rise for around 10 days after ovulation.
    These data may not mean much in the short term, but in the longer term it will give you an indicator and reference to compare to as your health & metabolism improves.

    My partner has been recording, body temp & heart rate morning and evening, menstral cycle as well as any shifts in diet or other symptoms for about 4 years now. Another side benefit of doing this process regularly is it is a time you stop and pay attention to your body, over time you get more sensitive to the subtle signals it is sending out.

  10. #10
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    Wow Omni,

    Thanks for all the info, I don't really understand it, but I will jot down on paper your suggested tests and take them with me to my next appt. I have found that the dr's at the practice I am with are not exactly forthcoming and I really am not sure if I really like her as they all seem to not be interested in preventing as much as treating once a problem arises. The only nice thing is I will be visiting home for the first time in six years in July, and can go see my old MD that took care of me for fifteen years. Her I trust completely and thoroughly.

    I will have to get a thermometer for the temp, but I am always cold and clammy. It's gross, I had a friend that was a mortician and it creeped him out to shake my hand.

    I am on birth control, so there aren't any issues with cycles. They come like clockwork, and I usually have no symptoms of pms.

    I have been really working on the 03's with fortified eggs and wild planet tuna once or twice a week. Been avoiding bacon, I love it, but he 06s are so awful.

    My grandmother has been on thyroid meds for decades, and I take after her so maybe I should press the doc about it harder for my own good. If all else fails, I can wait for July. I know my old Doc will take care of me.

    Thanks so much for all the details about the thyroid, I think it will be helpful.

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